August 09, 2020 09:09

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Enterprises need specific guidance to receive support

10:58 | 25/03/2020

VCN- Many preferential credit packages have been announced to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. But how to get support from these preferential packages is still a problem for many businesses.

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Enterprises are very confused about who to meet and what procedures are required to enjoy the Government's support in the situation of production and business stalled due to disease. Photo: N.H

Difficulties in both input and output

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan, Director of Ho Chi Minh City Development Research Institute, said that enterprises are currently struggling with the impacts of the epidemic in terms ofinput materials, labor and capital to output as customers, markets, and partners. All are in a state of slowdown that adversely affects production and business efficiency as well as the economy as a whole.

Specifically, the Ho Chi Minh City Association of Industrial Parks has cooperated with the EPZ-KCN Management Board to conduct a quick survey of 200 enterprises to understandthe effects of the Covid-19 epidemic. Accordingly, businesses forecast that the revenue of the first quarter of 2020 will decrease by 25-50% due to reduced orders, delayed payment, no new orders and large inventories that cannot be exported. Enterprises also said that the price of raw materials has risen, work progress has been delayed, businesses have lost opportunities while expenses such as labor and operating costs still rose. In addition, businesses also have to increase the cost of buying protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer.

Tran Phi Long, Vice Chairman, General Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Association of Industrial Parks, said that 200 enterprises responded to the survey, said they were forced to cutnearly 2,000 employees and currently about 1,000 employees are in the state of waiting for work.

Nguyen QuocAnh, Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Rubber and Plastics Association raised capital difficulties when shoppers are late in payment, leading to slow capital turnover.

"Previously, enterprises could turn around capital 3-4 times/year but now only 1-2 times so businesses face difficulties," QuocAnh said.

For leather and footwear enterprises, Nguyen Van Khanh, Vice President and General Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Leather and Footwear Association, said apart from material difficulties, the leather and footwear industry also faces difficulties in output due to export markets. The EU is also struggling to fight the epidemic, causing orders to stall.

According to a review of banks, the number of businesses negatively affected by Covid-19 epidemic is very large. Specifically, VPBank estimates that nearly 1,000 businesses are affected by the disease and may increase further if the situation is complicated and prolonged. VIB Bank also forecasts that there will be nearly 6,500 affected customers.

Need "manual" for businesses

In the face of such difficulties, all businesses want the bank to reduce interest rates or extend loans for due debts, at the same time extend and reduce taxes, to connect businesses and banks, assist in trade promotion activities to expand markets and find alternative raw material suppliers.

Currently, many banks have announced credit packages with interest rates reduced by1-3% to help businesses overcome difficulties. Recently, the State Bank decided to reduce a series of operating rates, thereby helping commercial banks have more room to reduce lending rates and help businesses have better access to capital flows. However, economist Bui Quang Tin assessed that the impact of lowering interest rates is the medium and long-term and mainly affects new loans. While the capital needs of businesses are very weak due to stalled business operations. Statistics of the State Bank showed that credit growth in the first two months of 2020 was only 0.06%, a sharp decrease compared to the increase of 1% in the same period last year. This is also the lowest growth rate in the same period in the last six years, although the bank has launched many credit packages to support businesses. Meanwhile, Khanh said, even though the capital demand of enterprises is not high, businesses still need to be prepared so that when the epidemic situation is under control, enterprises can embark immediately on restarting production. Therefore, lowering interest rates is also essential for businesses in the current situation.

Regarding the old loan contracts, Tin said that it is difficult for the bank to support reducing interest rates unless businesses can prove the impact of Covid-19 on their business and production activities. And the support also depends on the case.

In this regard, QuocAnh also spokeabout having contacted a number of banks that announced credit support packages for businesses, however, all banks answered that they were still waiting for instructions and enterprises had to have records and procedures, which has discouragedmany businesses. Accordingly, besides announcing the support packages, banks need to give specific instructions for businesses to be able to enjoy such support.

Bui Anh Son, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Association of Mechanics - Electricity also assessed that reducing the ceiling deposit interest rate from 5% to 4.75%will not have much effectbecause this reduction does not bring large room for lowering lending rates. According to Son, the State Bank should calculate a reduction of at least 1% to make practical significance to businesses.

However, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Hoang Ngan said that when calculating the reduction for the deposit rate ceiling, the State Bank was also concerned about the risk that banks will suffer from liquidity shortage when deposit rates are low, stimulating people to withdraw money from the banking system. Ngan also said that banks need to calculate and reduce other expenses to have more room to reduce lending rates. At the same time, the State Bank may consider reducing the required reserve ratio to increase liquidity for banks.

Sharing the same view with Tran Hoang Ngan, economist Bui Quang Tin also assessed that the State Bank's interest rate adjustment is in line with other macroeconomic indicators such as inflation and exchange rate. Because inflation in the first two months of 2020 was at 5.91%, higher than the initial estimate of 4%.

Also related to the issue of inflation, many businesses proposed that the Government needs solutions to ensure essential needs for people. Because consumer prices have now exceeded the endurance of many people, making people tighten spending, leading to difficulties for businesses.

By KhaiKy/ HuuTuc